This week's topic: The movie, TV show, book that most influenced my life.
The most influential book in my life is the Bible.
My life long study of the scriptures has been influenced by numerous books. Just reading the Bible is not enough. I read it cover to cover at age 15, that didn't make me a biblical scholar. Memorizing scripture doesn't make one an understanding Christian. It's a lifelong journey of faith. Here are some books that helped me grow and understand the scriptures:
The message of the book is the power of forgiveness and our faith makes us one with Christ. He does not condemn us no matter what that sin is.
This book opened my eyes the whole of Paul's message.
The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsay.
An interpretation of the book of Revelation. The most prevalent during the 20th century and the most heretical. When I left for college I would have preached out of this book. The only problem was that according to Lindsay the world would be destroyed in 1988. I think his math was off. Later the same interpretation was developed into the Left Behind series of books, movies, video games, etc. There's big money in doom and gloom about the future.
Worthy Is the Lamb by Ray Summers.
This is the book that broke me away from Fundamentalism. It's an interpretation of Revelation by understanding the time period it was written and the message presented to the people in that day. How they understood the message. It's not about the total destruction of the world. It's about how to have hope and persevere during times of tyranny and religious persecution, which was what the Christians of that time were facing.
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
This is a really hard book to read and then try to apply to your life. The cost to Bonhoeffer was his life during WWII. It helped me grow in my faith, and gave me the strength to leave the Southern Baptist Convention and find a different denomination that believes in inclusion instead or exclusion.
I have incorporated my beliefs and growth in my novels:
Optimus: Praetorian Guard and Stephanus.